After a month of campaigning, it all came down to the voice of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members. On September 7, over 1,400 enrolled Community members exercised their right to vote and re-elected incumbents President Diane Enos (606 votes) and Vice-President Martin Harvier (996) for another four-year term.
The Salt River District I Council representatives are Thomas Largo, Sr. (766), Anthony Collins, Sr. (542), and Willardine Sampson (491); the Lehi District II Council representative serving a four-year term is Lorna Ray (124).
After a recount for the Office of Chief Judge, Ryan Andrews and Bonnie Makil each came up with 721 votes.
Resolution of a tie vote shall be by re-election of unfilled office within 30 days of the recount. At the Council certification meeting the Community Council voted to have the Office of Chief Judge run-off election October 7.
Early in the day, most of the running candidates set up tents trying to sway last-minute voters. Anthony Collins, Martin Harvier, Diane Enos, Claire Miller, Joan (Joni) Ramos, Delbert Ray, Sr., Irma Smith, Ryan Andrews and Karen Schurz all withstood the blistering heat to convince last-minute undecided voters.
Election day might have started early for the candidates, but it did not end early.
Candidates waited around in anticipation of the election results for hours; for some, the wait did not end until the next day (September 8), due to a recount for one Council seat and the Office of Chief Judge.
According to the SRPMIC Code of Ordinances, “If an abstract shows that the highest votes cast for two (2) or more candidates for an office is tied or if the highest vote is larger than the next highest vote less than one (1) percent of the total votes cast for that office, there shall be an automatic recount. The Community council shall open the ballot box of that district and recount all the unspoiled and unrejected ballots cast for that office, and reject any ballots on which it is unable to determine the choice of the voter.”
Harvier expressed his nervousness and said that he felt like he did when he used to play baseball, going against an opponent and not knowing the outcome. Little ones could not wait any longer as children fell asleep in the laps of their parents. The unofficial results came in well after 9 p.m.
In a statement made the following day, Enos expressed her gratitude. “Thank you to all voters who turned out in record numbers for both districts,” Enos said.
“Thank you to all candidates for running a respectful and civil race against each other although there may be great differences of opinion and position. This says a great deal about us as O’odham and Piipaash, and demonstrates good modeling for our youth. I will take great messages from this election, and use them to do better in the coming four years.
“It is an honor to be given another chance to serve you, the people of our Community, and continue our stand for our sovereignty,” Enos continued. “Thank you for your confidence in me and the vice-president. We will continue to work hard on behalf of all of our beloved Community.”
Enos is no stranger to politics; she has served as a Council member for four terms and this will be her second term as president. She earned a juris doctorate (law degree) from Arizona State University School of Law.
“To all [members of the] SRPMIC, another four-year journey has begun for me to help lead our Community,” said Harvier, commenting on his win. “I want to thank every single person that supported me to serve you again. We have survived the past together, good and bad, and pray that the future will hold prosperity, happiness and peace for our people. I can only promise one thing, and that is to serve with hard work and commitment, and to make decisions with fairness to the Community as a whole.”
Harvier went on to thank his family, who has stood by him in his role as vice-president.
“I truly believe in my slogan ‘Together We Can,’ because that is the only way we, as a Community, are going to begin to overcome some of the social issues,” Harvier said. “I believe God has a plan for each of us, and I really feel blessed to serve you. Thank you SRPMIC, and I hope to see you all at the inauguration.”
Enos led by 41.17 percent, Harvier by 67.71 percent, Collins by 15.76 percent, Largo by 22.28 percent and Sampson by 14.28 percent.
For the 2010 SRPMIC General Election, there were 5,393 eligible enrolled Community-member voters and of that more than 1,400 cast their ballot, the largest ever voter turnout.
The newly elected representatives will be sworn into office on Saturday, December 18, 2 p.m. at the Salt River Pi-Copa Gymnasium.
Candidates have 24 hours to contest the election; however, the SRPMIC Code of Ordinances states that Council must examine rejected ballots only.
Contributions by Angela Willeford and Dodie Manuel
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community General Election Certified Results
Diane Enos: 606
Delbert Ray, Sr.: 459
Joan “Joni” Ramos: 264
Sterling Manuel, Sr.: 106
Write-in candidates: 37
Martin Harvier: 996
Dixie Padilla: 286
Sterling Manuel, Sr.: 183
Write-in candidates: 6
Thomas Largo, Sr.: 766
Anthony Collins, Sr.: 542
Willardine Sampson: 491
Clare “Claire” Miller: 481
Karen Schurz: 477
Irma Smith: 393
Alice Seger: 272
Write-in candidates: 16
Lorna Ray: 124
Lynn Myore: 117
Write-in candidates: 38
Ryan Andrews: 721
Bonnie Makil: 721
Write-in candidates: 7
Office of Chief Judge Run-off Election Scheduled for October 7
By Levi Long
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Media Relations
Due to a tie, a run-off election will be held for the Office of Chief Judge between Ryan Andrews, an advocate with the SRPMIC Legal Services Office and Bonnie Makil, a Juvenile Judge with the SRPMIC Courts. Both candidates received 721 votes each. There were 7 write-in candidate seats.
The run-off election will be held on Thursday, October 7, polls will open from 6 a.m.- 6 p.m. Polling locations will be held in each district, District I-Salt River at the Salt River Community Building and District II-Lehi at the Lehi Community Center. Enrolled Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian
Community Members must be 18 years of age the day of the election to cast their vote and provide their Salt River identification card.
During this run-off election, there will be no write in candidates for Office of Chief Judge, you will have a choice between Ryan Andrews and Bonnie Makil.
Candidate forums are scheduled to be held October 4 at 6 p.m. in District II (Lehi) at the Lehi Community Center and October 5 at 6 p.m. in District I (Salt River) at the Salt River Community Building.
For more information about the run-off election, please call Council Secretary Erica Harvier at (480) 362-7466.